Shaquem Griffin Still Playing Is Proof The NFL Has Made Progress With Social Issues

Gay rights advocates when they read that headline…

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Domestic violence protesters…

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Everyone in the National Anthem debate

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But the disability supporters…?

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And that’s what I do this for.

Now, obviously, I’m kidding. But I bring this up for a reason. Remember Michael Sam? You know, this guy?

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Most do. Most remember him as the first openly gay man to be drafted to the NFL. An amazing story, truly. Unfortunately for Sam, this title was as far as it went. He went on to be released in the final cuts of 2014 by the St. Louis Rams, had brief stints with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad and the CFL, and was never heard from again. What made matters worse were the stories that claimed the only reason he was drafted was due to the NFL league office’s bribing of the Rams to take Sam, who attended school at nearby University of Missouri, in exchange for being exempt from that year’s Hard Knocks. It seemed all the progress the NFL had made was a sham. But don’t blame the Rams for that. If you’re, then coach, Jeff Fisher, you have to take that deal. The last thing you needed was people seeing how poorly you do your job. Have you ever had your boss ask you, “What did you do today?” It’s terrifying. So you can’t put that on him. I mean, that agreement certainly kept him employed for the next two years. Until, of course, he was fired… in the middle of the season… following their Hard Knocks debut. Them’s the breaks I guess.

But that brings us to today. After years of enduring the black mark on their reputation that was the Sam Fiasco, the NFL has finally made amends. They’ve made sure to focus on another marginalized group in society, the handicapped, by making sure Shaquem Griffin stays in the league. So yeah, I’m saying this is kind of a sham too. Let’s see how the disability supporters are doing now…

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Shoot. Sorry guys.

Anyway, I’ve been onto this scheme for a while. Ever since the combine where Griffin was clocked at an inexplicable 4.38 seconds in his 40 yard dash. I say inexplicable for two reasons. 1) No linebacker prospect had run that fast in 15 years and 2) you’re telling me a guy with this belly…

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runs faster than Odell Beckham? “Fat” chance. I’m convinced the NFL staged this time to draw hype. It was another feel good story, and they weren’t gonna let this one slip through their hands.

Fast-forward to Draft Day and Shaquem is amazingly selected in the 5th round by the same team that employs his brother, the Seattle Seahawks. As nice of a story as that was, the league played a hand in this, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

Then comes training camp, and a perfectly placed camera catches Shaquem Griffin intercepting Russell Wilson.

Maybe this guy can play in the league, right? I mean Wilson has won a Super Bowl after all. To that I say, “talk to the hand, cuz the face don’t wanna hear it.” The guy also lost one too, thanks to a throw.

The preseason arrives and Griffin leads the team in tackles in his first preseason game against 3rd stringers. At this point, things are getting out of hand.

Preseason ends, Griffin makes the team, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s named a starter for week 1. As happy as everyone was, there was just no way this was deserved right? Luckily, time would tell, and the hands of time are undefeated when  it comes to telling the truth.

Now, I’ll admit, I hand-picked that play. He’s a rookie, it’s his first game, mistakes happen. I’m sure he had some good plays too. But he ended the game with three tackles. Three for a starting linebacker, that’s bad. Someone needs to give him a hand out there.

Finally, to prove my point, he was removed from Monday night’s starting lineup in favor of recently signed Mychal Kendricks. Which, if we’re being honest, makes sense. If anyone should be playing inside linebacker, its Mychal Kendricks. Just look at his stock portfolio and you’ll know I’m right.

Alright, I’m almost done. So let me be clear, this is not Shaquem Griffin’s fault. Everyone raise your hand if  you’ve gotten praise at home, school, work, wherever, for something you didn’t really deserve.

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So this isn’t an attack on him. It’s on the league for putting him in this position. The NFL is a beast. You want to be mad at them for what they did to Michael Sam? You want to force their hand? Fine. But they’re not gonna fold. They’re gonna double down and make sure they’re right.

As a result, Shaquem Griffen has a job. So don’t say they didn’t do anything for anyone.

 

 

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